Master Distiller Dave Pickerell left behind a tremendous legacy at WhistlePig and in the wider whiskey industry. His innovation and expertise on maturation are unparalleled. For this FINE+RARE exclusive bottling, the Vermont-based team finished a 12-year-old rye in Pickerell’s favourite Italian Amarone barrels – from leading light Dal Forno Romano. Ten barrels were filled with rye distilled on 1st June 2004 and, after multiple trips and fine tuning, including a finishing period in those iconic casks, the whiskey was bottled in 2021. On the nose, this whiskey opens with a familiar uplift of rye spice, lush menthol and nutmeg, followed by dried orange peel, boiled rhubarb and custard confectionery. There's a sense of a dusting of rich cocoa nibs, reminiscent of the Dal Forno Amarone. On the palate the whiskey announces its arrival with an enormous splash of rich berry fruits, lashings of orange peel, and a crack of cinnamon, all wrapped up in a bold, creamy mouthfeel. Traditional vanilla ice cream, characterised by the ebullience of the pods, adds vibrancy to the texture, while the cocoa evolves into molten dark chocolate. There’s a traditional cigar box depth, too. The exuberance is refined into pure elegance on the finish, with the expression mellowing into more gentle crème brûlée, topped with a citrus zest.